Successful budget outcome

To the Editor:

Last night the RTM unanimously voted to approve the schools budget for 2018/19. Spending is increasing in our schools by over 1.5 percent.

Congratulations to all the players involved: Board of Finance for their strength; The RTM for their excellent focus and attention to detail; PTA for their continuing oversight; Teaching Unions for reaching a win-win deal - and finally the Board of Education for their commitment to our children.

At the start of this process the requested school budget represented a growth rate of almost 5 percent - the largest increase in several years. Head count was going up and the growth rate in per student spending was more than doubling. The budget needed taming.

Westport will be spending $21,042 per student next year. Every child can thrive with that generous spending commitment. Through many twists and turns, and the involvement of so many different groups, the school budget has indeed been tamed. It’s still growing, but it’s now under control. This was so important.

I would especially like to thank the Superintendent and the Board of Education. During the process this year I have been critical of them at times. That is behind us now. Their commitment, flexibility and effort has paid off. This is a better budget for all.

As a town we wake up today with flat taxes next year, a strong school district and one of the very best Superintendents in the United States.

Westport won last night.

Our town, our finances - and our schools will remain strong.

Congratulations to all the elected representatives, teachers, Superintendent and the administration for this A+ outcome.

Robert Harrington

Westport